The period of 13th to 15th century was highly characterized by a high level of cultural and social shifts that contributed in the development of art and its adoption across Europe. There was the rise and the emergence of Italian renaissance. Economic growth was experienced in the vast European continent. This growth led to the development of transportation links and, which acted, as a catalyst for the spread of artistic skills across Europe. Italian renaissance was characterized with artistic impressions that depicted various developments in Italy and day-to-day secular life of people. Netherlands art also came into existence in the same period. These artistic paintings largely imitated a modern international gothic style, which mainly inclined on representation of natural landscapes and religion. Sometimes it incorporated artistic expressions of illusions. In mostly common work of art, in these periods, was a scene from religion with natural phenomenon that includes landscapes acting as a background. This artistic period was characterized with sculptures, paintings and carvings from different types of trees.
The Byzantine art was quite different form the art of the 13th to the 15th Century. Although the Byzantine retained some elements of the later, it appeared to be more refined. It also appeared to be a direct replica of the art of the Roman Empire and which had borrowed heavily from the art of Greek. Byzantine art focused on representation of things that were unnatural and sometimes were symbolic. The early Renaissance (13th to 15th Century) art in Italy differed with Byzantine era, as it was more inclined on making a naturalistic impression on art than Byzantine style, which they accused, of being more rigid and barbaric. It also focused on systematic representations and organizations of figures in the background of artistic paintings. The byzantine also lacked creativity and depth in their art and did not have gestures. As a result, various artists saw a need of breaking up with the tradition into making art that was more realistic and natural. This movement was known as Italian renaissance and included painters like Masaccio Fra Angelico and Giotto.
The artistic works of Giotto greatly brought out the difference between the byzantine art and the art of the Early Renaissance in Italy, which is the art of between the 13th and the 15th Century. The likes of Giotto and other painters advocated for a naturalistic painting and arts that depicted the day-to-day life of people. They also focused on the impressive background of the paintings, unlike the byzantine art. In one of his work in the Scrovegni Chapel, Giotto, whose artistic work was largely dominated by religious events, made a painting named nativity. This painting had the clear background of heaven with angels as they stayed on guard to protect baby Jesus and his mother Mary. Another paint that really indicates a clear shift from byzantine art-art that did not show the background is a kiss of Judas in the same church that shows Judas kissing Jesus. Apart from these major figures of Jesus and Judas hugging, Giotto incorporated in the painting an elaborate background that shows the multitude and the environment, which suggest that it, was at night.
The 15th century northern European painters developed the early renaissance emphasis on painting. These painters became more focused on the background and introduced various smaller details in the paintings and artistic works. This era of artists differed with those of Italian renaissance in that they emphasized on smaller details of their paintings Jan van Eyck in his artistic painting of adoration of the lamb was more complex piece that showed the lamb and pilgrims adoring the lamb. This painting was more detailed as it was capable of showing emotional side of pilgrims. Rogier van der Weyden was also skilled in showing the emotional side of characters in his paintings. In one of his painting of disposition of Jesus from the cross, he was able to show the grieve-stricken faces of those who were around when Jesus was brought down from the cross.